Kejriwal defies summons by ED, goes for roadshow

Delhi CM sends letter to Central agency calling the summons a ‘fishing and roving’ exerciseand ‘unsustainable in law’; attends party event in M.P., says he’s not afraid of arrest; BJP slams decision

November 02, 2023 11:27 am | Updated November 03, 2023 08:37 am IST - New Delhi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. | Photo Credit: ANI

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal did not appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in the Delhi excise policy case on Thursday. He instead wrote to the agency calling its summons “unsustainable in law” and “motivated”.

Given the situation, the ED may now issue fresh summons, an ED official said.

In his reply to the ED on Thursday, Mr. Kejriwal termed the summons a “fishing and roving” exercise by the agency.

“As the Chief Minister of the State of NCT of Delhi, I have governance and official commitments, for which my presence is required, particularly in view of the Deepavali festivities coming up in the second week of November 2023. In view of the above, please recall the said summons, which to say the least is vague and motivated and I am advised, unsustainable in law,” the letter read.

Later, addressing a roadshow in Madhya Pradesh, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief said he was not afraid of going to jail.

‘Many Kejriwals’

“You can arrest Kejriwal’s physical body, but how will you arrest Kejriwal’s ideas? You might arrest one Kejriwal, but how will you arrest the thousands, lakhs, and crores of Kejriwals?”

Meanwhile, the BJP accused the AAP chief of “running away” from the ED summons as he does not want to “face the truth”.

BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra, addressing the media, said, “It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the Delhi liquor scam king has accepted that he was involved in liquor scam and corruption.” Mr. Patra asked if the Delhi Chief Minister believes that he is above the law. “Just because he is the CM, does he think no [probe] agency can summon him?” Mr. Patra added.

AAP leaders continued to attack the Union government stating the that the ED’s summons was politically motivated and it is part of the BJP’s conspiracy to arrest Mr. Kejriwal.

On Monday, the ED said that it had asked Mr. Kejriwal to appear before it on November 2 for recording his statement in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

‘Dirty politics’

The CBI had recorded Mr. Kejriwal’s statement on April 16 and after being questioned for over nine hours, he told mediapersons that the entire case was fabricated, and the agencies did not have any proof and that it was a result of “dirty politics”. He had alleged that the entire case was being built to bring down the AAP.

Two senior AAP leaders — Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh — are already under judicial custody in the same case. Mr. Sisodia, who was the then Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, was arrested by the CBI on February 26 following several rounds of questioning and on October 5, the ED arrested Mr. Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha member.

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